Program_Early Learning and Child Care Diploma

Early Learning and Child Care Diploma

Early learning and child care professionals play an important role in early childhood development. As a professional in this field, you will play a critical role in this stage of a child’s life. This program will prepare you to ensure that children’s developmental needs are being met.
Domestic Status:
Open
International Status:
Open
Next Start date:
Diploma
2 Years
Accepting International Students
Full-Time Part-Time On Campus Online

About the Early Learning and Child Care Diploma

As an early learning and child care professional, you play an important role in a critical development stage for children. In the Early Learning and Child Care Diploma program, you will learn to work with children from birth to eight years of age with some related preparation for working with children from eight to twelve years of age. 

This program is designed to provide you with the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills in areas including child development, interpersonal relations, curriculum content, family studies, exceptional children and program management. 

This program can be taken in several different ways. Attend full- or part-time on Red Deer Polytechnic Main campus or blend on-campus and online courses. The blended online/on campus program is offered through a combination of online independent study, on-campus learning, and computer-facilitated support.  

The Early Learning and Child Care Diploma courses may be completed part-time over a two-year period or less through online, distance or blended distance delivery. This multi-delivery approach is especially useful for mature students who are balancing work and home commitments with their education goals.

Work-integrated Learning

Experiential learning is important in this field. Over the course of your program, you’ll complete four practicums in early learning and child care settings that will help you connect the program theory to real-world situations. 

Delivery Option for Working Professionals

The Early Learning and Child Care Workplace Advancement Specialization is equivalent to the second year of the Early Learning and Child Care Diploma program. It’s designed for students who have already completed the Early Learning and Child Care Certificate or the first year of the Diploma and are working in the field.  

The program will be offered as an immersive workplace learning specialization to achieve the outcomes of the second year of the Early Learning and Child Care diploma. Students will continue to work in an ELCC Centre and outcomes, skills, and competencies will be assessed through their work. They will complete greater than 51% of their certificate in the workplace and less than 49% in an online learning environment.

Students applying to this program specialization must be employed within a licensed ELCC Facility or Home-Based Centre and must have previously completed a recognized Early Learning and Child Care Certificate program or the first year of a recognized ELCC Diploma program. A Letter of Verification of Employment will be required.  

Intakes

Fall (Domestic) - Start Date: Sep 04, 2024
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Spring (Domestic) - Start Date: May 01, 2025
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Fall (International) - Start Date: Sep 04, 2024
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Spring (International) - Start Date: May 01, 2025
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    -
  • Registration start date:
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  • First day of classes:

NOTES:  

  • International students have to pay their tuition deposit to receive their letters of acceptance
  • Important dates may change 

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for specific programs will often refer to Alberta Grade 12 course groups. Visit the Admission Requirements page for detailed group descriptions.   

International Students: If you are an international student or have completed your high school education outside of Alberta, please refer to our International Course Equivalencies page for information on how your coursework may align with our admission requirements. 

Eligibility for admission to the Early Learning and Child Care Diploma program at Red Deer Polytechnic requires applicants to meet minimum academic requirements. Qualified applicants who meet all minimum requirements will be offered admission on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Academic Requirements  

Students applying to Early Learning and Child Care must have a minimum of 50% in:     

  • ELA 30-1, or equivalent 

OR 

A minimum of 65% in: 

  • ELA 30-2, or equivalent 

OR 

A minimum score of 250 on the Reading component, 250 on the Writing component and 5 on the WritePlacer Test.   

OR 

Previous completion of three College-level courses with a minimum GPA of 2.0. 

OR 

Early Learning and Child Care Certificate with a minimum GPA of 1.7, or consent of the Associate Dean. 

OR 

Transfer from another post-secondary institution. You will be required to present an equivalent academic program. 

Additional Requirements

English Language Proficiency

Applicants who declare English as a first language are exempt from ELP requirements. Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate English Language Proficiency (ELP) for admission to credit programs by providing official documentation to the Office of the Registrar after an online application has been submitted. All ELP tests must have been obtained within two years of the date their program starts. ELP requirements are in addition to the other admission requirements noted above.

Study Permits

Students with Study Permits that are admitted to a program that has a practicum or clinical placement in child care, primary/secondary school teaching or health service field occupations must complete their Medical Authorization as required by Citizenship and Immigration Canada one month prior to the start of classes.  

Practicum Requirements

Government requires people who work directly with young children to have a current immunization record and a Police Information Check. While not an admission requirement for the program, some practicum agencies and field placements may require Police Information Checks of students working in their organizations. Information about obtaining Police Information Checks will be provided to students after they have been admitted to the program. Some programs may require medical examinations, as well. Students should be prepared for approximately $50 to $75 in extra expense to acquire these documents.  

Practicum courses are usually in the Red Deer area but you should plan for some extra costs associated with completing your practicum, including travel, clothing and other expenses.  

Prior Learning and Transfer

Students presenting courses from other recognized post-secondary institutions may be granted transfer credit towards the Early Learning and Child Care Diploma, visit our Recognition of Prior Learning and Transfer Credit page to learn more.   

Program Cost

Students from Canada
Year 1
$8,296.50
Year 2
$8,059.50

These costs are an estimate of tuition and fees based on the recommended course load per year.       

NOTE: Additional fees apply. View here for a detailed, estimated breakdown of tuition, non-instructional mandatory fees, health and dental plan costs, and estimated textbooks and supplies costs.    

International Students
Year 1
$20,961.50
Year 2
$20,367.50

These costs are an estimate of tuition and fees based on the recommended course load per year.      

NOTE: Additional fees apply. View here for a detailed, estimated breakdown of tuition, non-instructional mandatory fees, health and dental plan costs, and estimated textbooks and supplies costs.     

Program Content

The first year of the program is equivalent to the Early Learning and Child Care Certificate, and you’ll complete the same set of courses as students in that program. In the second year, you’ll complete two additional practicums and eight courses that deepen your knowledge. By the end of the Diploma program, you will be able to assume many of the responsibilities related to preschool care and education in your practicum.  

Program Courses

Graduation Requirements

Students must pass all courses.  

Continuing and Professional Education

Further your career by advancing your existing skills through flexible courses, micro-credentials and programs.